Sunday 19 November 2017

Rules body plans kick-out restriction

Former Armagh footballer Jarlath Burns. Photo: Sportsfile
Former Armagh footballer Jarlath Burns. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The GAA's Standing Rules Committee have formally proposed a motion that will, if passed, require a kick-out to cross the 20-metre line.

The motion could be accommodated at a Special Congress in the pipeline for later this year to deal with a number of other matters.

The committee's chairman, former Armagh footballer Jarlath Burns, has confirmed his body are formally requesting that the motion be debated at a Special Congress.

As it stands, the only restriction on a kick-out is that it must travel 13 metres in distance.

But Rule 2.7 of the playing rules does not specify which direction that 13 metres should be which some goalkeepers have been able to maximise.

In the 2015 All-Ireland semi-finals and final, Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton was able to evade the press applied by Mayo and Kerry by kicking to the corner where Jonny Cooper and Davy Byrne were in receipt behind the line where the kick-out had originated.

In their recent Allianz Division 1 league visit to Tyrone which they won, Mayo almost exclusively deployed a short kick-out strategy with David Clarke sending the ball laterally or even behind its starting point.

The committee has resisted a temptation to propose a 45-metre line reach for a kick-out to complement the introduction of the mark which has been quite seamless during the league campaign.

Requiring a kick-out to cross the 45-metre line would have the obvious drawback of diluting the requirement for forwards marking opponents in the final third of the field.

It's a potentially small change but, by excluding the first 20 metres only of the field on either side as a target area for kick-out, it is felt that it's a sufficient compromise.

The committee has also been weighing up a further proposal to prevent a kick-out being taken until a signal is given from a referee.

Irish Independent

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